kyrie irving
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is giving up on his vaccination mandate for athletes. He plans to carve out an exception for athletes and performers on Thursday.

So, after almost an entire season of hoopla surrounding Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status, this storyline can finally go away. New York City Mayor Eric Adams is ready to concede to common sense.

Multiple outlets are reporting that Mayor Adams plans to make an exemption to the private-sector vaccination mandate specifically for athletes and performers. This means Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving can start playing in Barclays Center again.

The approaching MLB season almost certainly played a factor in this decision. Irving is the only NBA player in the city impacted by this rule and most non-Nets fans will have no sympathy for the enigmatic star.

Although we don’t have a specific number on unvaccinated Yankees or Mets, it’s safe to assume there would have been a handful of players in that category.

For weeks, Mayor Adams dug in his heels on this vaccination mandate for athletes. It’s still unclear what caused his change of heart. Maybe he’s a Nets fan deep down. Perhaps he sees the ridiculousness of the rule.


Allowing unvaccinated visiting players to play in NYC, but barring guys on the home team made no sense. Furthermore, there were undoubtedly unvaccinated fans in the crowd at these games. We know for sure there was at least one in Barclays — Irving was allowed to sit in the crowd at games, but couldn’t play.

Although Irving was never a victim in this situation, the rule made no sense. Both things can be true.

The Nets are fighting for a playoff spot while the Mets and Yankees are preparing for Opening Day. New York City teams can move forward without worrying about what’s happening at City Hall.

Knicks, Nets, NY/NJ college hoops, and sports betting reporter. Mostly basketball, but a little bit of everything when it comes to NY sports. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.